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Review: BRB (Be Right Back)

Black Box at Smock Alley

Certain things seem like a good idea at the time until reality finally catches up with us. The legendary Oisín, entranced by Niamh’s promise of eternal youth, journeys to Tír na nÓg and loses 300 years there. We turn to the internet for a moment and emerge some aeons later from a wilderness of status updates and viral videos. Where does the time go?

The new show from Galway’s Waterdonkey attempts to fuse these mythical and technological versions of suspended animation, but its dramaturgy is similarly unhurried and distracted. Assembling a hypertext of links and allusions without ever deciding on a clear path of performance, director Meadhbh Haicéid leads her cast through a YouTube make-up tutorial, a torch song, a recently unearthed John Steinbeck letter and a video of 1970s Dublin – all delivered at wearying length – loosely interwoven with an amusingly mumblecore version of the Tír na nÓg legend. It might have worked slightly better as an installation, for which we could make our own connections, but as a piece of theatre it doesn’t require a fascination with eternal youth as much as limitless patience.

Until 22 Sep
Peter Crawley

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